Entries by Brandy Williams

Research notes: Dark Places of Wisdom

Peter Kingsley’s book In the Dark Places of Wisdom is a story. It’s a scholarly work making a serious point but Kingsley sweeps away the academic apparatus and banishes notes to the end of the book. He writes in a strikingly simplistic style. It’s a conversational narrative, parceling out information in small bits and retracing […]

Seven Magical Ways to Resist Donald Trump

The resistance to the American political shift toward authoritarianism has become permanent part of the social landscape. Here are seven ways we can leverage magic to assist our political efforts. Magical Resistance Tip One: Look to our traditions for guidance. Magical folk have been the underdogs in the Western world for the last two thousand years. […]

Research notes: Sacrifice and Magic

Proclus wrote a commentary on the Chaldean Oracles which is lost. This is my current top entry for “books I would rescue from the mists of time”. However there is one fragment which survives, “On the Hieratic Art”. Marsilio Ficino paraphrased the text as “De Sacrificio et Magia” in 1576. The hieratic art is theurgy, […]

In defense of practical magic

Magical and academic texts sometimes make a distinction between low magic and high magic. Spiritual magic has lofty goals, connecting us to the divine; the priestess who works this magic has the best intentions and results. On the other hand the sorceress who conjures for her own benefit is the meanest of the mean, twisting […]

Secret of Magic 6: Trust yourself

There are many magical paths. Some of them are easy to walk on our own. Others require guidance from more experienced practitioners. No matter what magical path you choose, and however knowledgeable your advisor is, you are always the person who knows best what you need to do. You know what is working well for […]

Humanizing traditional magic

I am deeply committed to humanist values. I know as a fundamental truth that every human soul is equal to any other regardless of the body that soul currently wears. Women are as valuable as men, other genders are as valid as the man-woman binary, skin color and ethnicity are no bar to ability, disability […]